Channels without HDHOMERUN

I searched for this but couldn't find an answer. I'm going to join the ranks of the cordcutters very soon. My question is, do I absolutely have to have an HDHOMERUN to use everything, or am I not understanding how everything works? Right now I have Prime, Netflix and soon YTTV. YTTV has the locals I care about, the four major networks. I really do t need an antenna. Will Channels still give me full functionality?

A HDHomeRun tuner is not required. Your decision depends on how you want to utilize Channels DVR.

If you plan to record all local channels with YTTV and watch them on YTTV, then there is no need for a HDHomeRun tuner.

One concept you want to fully understand is TVE (TV Everywhere). This is a critical capability for Channels DVR. Knowing you are moving to YTTV, you have all you need to make a decision overall. Channels DVR does not record from YouTube, it uses the website ( or for example), to pull in the live feed from the web and that allows you to watch or record a particular channel.

With Channels DVR, TVE allows you to record local channels but only ABC, NBC and Fox. CBS requires a subscription and CW doesn't have a live TV stream. If you are in a market that has Locast, you can subscribe to Locast and record all of your local channels ($5/mo). Otherwise, you will need a HDHomeRun tuner to record all local channels using Channels DVR.

Keep in mind, TVE is the critical piece; if a "must have" channel is not available using TVE with YTTV, it will not be available to Channels DVR.

Also, none of the paid movie channels (HBO, Showtime, etc) are available using TVE, but you can still record whatever you want and watch using the YTTV App.

It can be confusing at first; the good news is you get 30 days to try out Channels DVR before you commit.


I doubt you will get many locals without an hdhomerun. At the most you will get 3 ABC/ NBC/Fox. I only get Fox and NBC. Also you won’t get TNT, TBS, CNN, CN, OR TCM since YTTV doesn’t have access to those channels through TVE. You will need to you theYTTV app for those.

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You need an HDHomeRun to receive and record the best quality locals: ABC,NBC,CBS,FOX,CW,PBS,MyTV,etc.
This is FREE TV. It is the best of the Channels experience and is the primary reason to have Channels.

As a bonus, you can also record cable channels if you are subscribed to a a streaming provider that gives TVE access. This is an add-on to the great locals you get with your antenna.

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You simply may not need Channels DVR.

Channels DVR is great if you want an integrated GUIDE/DVR solution from multiple sources of the same stations (ie: local ABC from Antenna, Cable, Internet), or individually, if you want to just watch and\or record from an antenna or you want to replace all of your DVR capable cable boxes.

But, there are some caveats:
To record local channels from an antenna, you are going to need a HDHomerun device that is specific to OTA (antenna).

If you have a cable package and want to replace your cable boxes (and their monthly cost), you will need a HDHomerun Prime, which uses a cable card, that you will have to get from your cable provider.

If you have the above mentioned cable package, you are also (generally) going to have access to the TVE apps for the channels in your package. Not all cable providers have TVE privileges with all of the channels they provide and some channels simply do not have TVE capabilities.

If you have a streaming package (Sling, YTTV, etc...), as with a cable package, you are also (generally) going to have access to the TVE apps for the channels in your package. Not all streaming providers have TVE privileges with all of the channels they provide and some channels simply do not have TVE capabilities.

You can work all of the above, together, with Channels DVR (I currently use 3 of the 4)...and it works great and you can end up saving lot's of money...over time, as there are some up front costs to get some items working.

It may not be the best option if you only have a streaming service that already offers a guide and unlimited DVR service, like YTTV. You really already have what you need, if you do not plan to use an antenna.

Netflix and Prime are separate from the discussion, as they do not work with or within Channels DVR.

The really good news is Channels DVR is awesome and the community and especially the developer support is even more awesome.


Have you gotten your issues resolved. I am in the same boat as you, and confused. I dont want to use an HD Homerun. I just want to use Locast, and login to my paid services, Fios, hulu etc.

And I want to be able to watch TV in multiple rooms, on multiple devices. Is a HD Homerun needed?

It is just a little confusing to get started here.

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Make sure that you downloaded the Channels DVR app on your Clients not the Channels Regular APP.

So I would install the Channels DVR app on my Firestick too? And I install the Channels Regular app as well?

Because how would i get to the guide?

You need to Install Channels DVR Server ... set that up then download the Channels DVR clients on FireTV etc...

Oh ok, i must of been misunderstanding. I didnt know you there was a channels DVR clients app.

I just thought I set up Channels DVR Server on my main server...And then on the clients use the Channels live app.

Now I'm confused. I bought the HDHR and waiting for my antenna install. Server? App? Where is what and who is on first?

LOL. Thats how I have been feeling.

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Channels Plus features require a separate piece of software to drive everything. These features require an application that runs 24/7. Streaming device software cannot do this. This is Channels DVR Server.

Channels DVR Server manages all the recording, remote streaming, third party provider support, etc.

The Channels apps that run on your streaming box are simply clients that then utilize what Channels DVR Server provides. Think about it like email apps and email servers.

1 Like it makes sense! I googled Channels DVR Server and got a page I'd never seen before! I have an nvidia shield so I even saved setting up a full time computer! But now I have another question.... Does it continue to work if the Shield goes to sleep?

In addition to this question. I have a Shield set up to run the Channels DVR server as well. Can i then still use the shield to watch channels as well?

I went and read the whole thread again. Now knowing about the server it makes more sense. I'm hoping I understand this correctly that I need the server app AND the dvr app on the Shield. I'm sure someone will let us know. This is the best support forum I've ever used!

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Yes you can install both apps onto your shield.

Others have confirmed that it still works when the Shield goes into sleep mode.

Just test it out during the trial. Download the Channels DVR server and install it on an old computer. Then set up TVEverywhere with you YTTV login to see what it's all about. If you are in a Locast city you can also view and record Locast channels.

I'm hoping Locast expands to Orlando at some point.